Saturday, July 23, 2011

Max Brenner

Its winter in Australia and the cold weather calls for hot chocolates, comforting sweets and good times with friends. I've been to Max Brenner a bit recently so I thought I should do a blog post on some Max Brenner food that I've eaten over the past few years. Fortunately, I have a few pictures to complement this post. These pictures were taken at Max Brenners in Sydney at Castle Towers, Paddington and Newtown... and in Canberra at Belconnen:

*Chocolate souffle - this isn't a traditional souffle which is made from little flour, beaten egg white and deflates after 5 minutes after it is baked. Max Brenner's chocolate souffle is a rich, fluffy and indulgent dessert. Its not for the faint-hearted or for those who don't LOVE chocolate. I had it many years ago so my tastes might have changed, but it is definitely my favourite dessert at Max Brenner.

*Dark hot chocolate in a hug mug - This will satisfy your craving to have a sweet hot chocolate. The hug mug is definitely a positive novelty. How much you will like this hot chocolate will depend on how much you like the chocolate per se produced by Max Brenner. I find it to be sweet and not very refined. I'm a picky eater so I'd scale it as 'it will do'. That's just my taste anyhow.

*White chocolate chai - There's a picture of this in the top right hand corner of the collage. They give you a 'tea pot', that squirts out chai when you place it carefully over the glass mug. Many desserts with white chocolate fail to assert the very gentle taste of white chocolate - they often combine it with another ingredient and that often over powers the white chocolate. However, Max Brenner did well with this. With the first sip, you experience a hybridity of emotions - chai = somewhere not in Australia and white chocolate = childhood. It is also quite sweet. In the tea pot, you can actually see the spices used for the chai - and this is transformed to the drink where you can taste most spices. This is great and is much better than the powered chai you get in most cafes.

*Belgian waffle - I had this years ago and remembered it to be amazing and almost perfect. However, I went to Belgium last year and had this waffle again at Max Brenner and changed my mind. The waffle I had was a bit stale. It seemed like the waffle was stored for hours or even days. My Belgian friend told me that there are two types of waffles in Belgium, and this circular one is made from a 'heavier' batter. The waffle at Max Brenner stays true to this convention. It's good for those who just want a waffle with chocolate but it's not really amazing.

*White chocolate cloud - This was weird!! Encased in a chocolate shell was a fluffy creamy white chocolate mixture - it wasn't like a meringue, or a marshmallow or a cream tart. It was actually quite heavy and rich. I shared it with another person, but it was still too heavy for my liking. I'd recommend it if you were really hungry, craved sugar and wanted something different.

*Chocolate crepes - There's a picture of this in the bottom right hand corner of the collage. Honestly, I can't remember much of it but I remember it being good!!

*Not shown above, but I also had a chocolate pizza once - man! this was sickly sweet. I'm a fan of most hybrid foods, such as savoury muffins, apple crumble pizzas etc, but the mixture between melted chocolate and plain thin bread was a bit too much. I think what I didn't like about it was the mixture of textures and there wasn't much to balance out the sweetness of the chocolate and marshmallows.

I might have been a bit mean and critical in this post. I still think Max Brenner is good and its a great novelty. But I would likely choose other chocolate cafes (i.e. Lindt) over Max Brenner most days.

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